Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Tale of Isolation

Hi, it's Trevor once again, bringing you another tale. We have really tried to share one a month and so far this year, it has happened.

This time is going to be about something that Brenda struggles with and that is isolation. When you live with a chronic illness or in Brenda's case, more than one challenge, it can be especially hard for some to understand.

Brenda wants to be social and have fun. There are some things that limit her activities. One is the fact that she struggles with benign positional vertigo (BPV) attacks, of which she never knows when one may occur. She hasn't been in an airplane in over five years, as her last experience is when the plane started to take off, her head began to feel funny and she became very sick. It was so bad that they wanted her to go to the ER, but Brenda fought it and rested. It gets better after she has had a chance to rest. Not everyone gets this and it is tiring for her to have to explain it over and over.

She would love to travel, but has come to the conclusion, that it probably is not in the cards to get into anymore airplanes. If only they could figure out what causes these attacks. It is very distressing for Brenda, because the medication that she takes can cause her to become irregular. She has tried going to a balance clinic, but she could not complete the tests, because she became so sick.

Not being able to get together with others, because of this, is hard for Brenda. She feels isolated, as it is. I am here, but that simply is not enough. You need people in your life to survive. She lives alone and that is something that has not been a choice, at this stage in her life. She simply has not met that one person or companion, that she could do activities with, or even go out for coffee or a drink.

Brenda tries so hard to remain positive and that seems to put some people off. It's on them. I encourage her to keep doing what does. She is helping more people, than she realizes. She has received messages asking for advice, so she knows, that others depend on her.

Brenda has limited energy, because of the fact that she lives with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is a brain tumor survivor. She has a lot she has to get through every day. She fights and I am so proud of how she continues to walk to and from work. She enjoys it so much.

She just completed another 5k walk the other evening. She even managed to break her record and did it in 50 minutes. That might not seem like a lot to you, but to her, this is one way to kick RA's butt and it is very satisfying for Brenda, to do so.

What we want to bring out in this tale, is even though it looks like Brenda has it all together, make no mistake, that she does become lonely at times. She is trying so hard to get involved and meet others, even if it is only online or a monthly conference call. It is interacting and that means so much to her.

She doesn't feel like she fits in with the chronic illness group, as they are always doing their own thing, and feels excluded.

She advocates for so many, but who really has her back? We are not trying to play the woe is me card here, by any means. We are being honest here with some heavy feelings. That is something that Brenda has experienced, since her brain surgery. Her feelings or emotions are much sharper. It's a brain thing and only those of you who have gone through this, would truly understand.

Even in the brain tumor community she feels isolated at times. Her procedure was not as long and as serious as some of her other fellow brain tumor survivors. She dislikes comparing, because after all, aren't we all on the same team or side?  I would certainly think so.

Tomorrow, starts the month of Arthritis and Brain Tumor Awareness. There are going to be a lot of campaigns out there for walks, contacting our legislators, which is all great. She will do her level best to participate in what she can handle.

Brenda feels like she has to do so much by herself, because no one around here, gets what she struggles with every day. She is thankful for social media and the friends she has made. She would like to be able to make some friends in the real world too, that she could lean on for support.

We are going to leave this time, with a question. How could you help someone, so that they don't feel so isolated, when dealing with a chronic illness? Brenda would really appreciate knowing, how you feel about this.

This is Trevor, barking off. BOL